Most people are lurkers on social media.
For quite some time now, the popular 99-9-1 rule applied to social media has been floating around. It states that 90% of all your followers are just lurking, 9% are engaged, and that only 1% of the community actively produces content.
What are lurkers?
These are people who are following your social media account(s) consuming your content but not interacting with it (or you). They read the content but rarely respond or share.
Let's use Twitter as an example. A person will create an account and test out a few tweets ("Hello world" anyone?), but for the most part, they are scrolling through their timelines, reading through, clicking on some URLs, but rarely interacting with anybody.
Like it or not, lurkers make up a huge percentage of your followers across any social network. So, the question is: should you care about these lurkers?
What is the value of lurkers?
Lurkers are not the life of the party, but they stand out in other ways and that is in the numbers. Lurkers account for a significant percentage of the average social media audience. Here's the thing: remember when you started out in social? Everyone starts at 0 and some accounts grow faster than others but the point is, we all started at the bottom once.
In time, some of these lurkers won't be so quiet anymore. When they get comfortable in commenting or sharing, they may even be the next "influencer". So you don't want to ignore them.
Another important reason is that Twitter is becoming one of the most used search engines for real-time information. A lot of people use Twitter Search for research on any number of topics. All these people coming online to use Twitter's search tool may find your account and find your content interesting. Yeah sure, so they're not active, but that doesn't mean they're not being influenced by you.
So the bottom line is: embrace social lurkers because they are beneficial to you and/or your brand.
Oh! And it just so happens that there's some more interesting and valuable information about lurkers. Here are highlights from last night's #AtomicChat with special guest @ZacharyJeans, take a look!
Also, up next week, we are excited to have Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute be a guest on #AtomicChat! Join us on Monday, July 28th, 2014 9pm EST/ 8pm CST/ 6pm PST.